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Missed final fuelling Metcalf and Manchester Thunder for 2024 season

Nat Metcalf says missing out on last season’s Netball Super League final is fuelling Manchester Thunder’s title tilt this season, writes Flo Clifford.

Thunder lost out on a place in the final in 2023, losing to eventual champions Loughborough Lightning in the last four, but still ended the campaign with a bronze medal. 

And the Barrowford native believes the team’s strength in depth – and mix of veterans and debutants – will be their secret weapon.  

“We’re proud of getting into the semi-final but obviously we fell short by not getting into the final,” the England international said. 

“It was a really competitive season and we’ve got so much to be proud of, but we definitely want to go two better and get into that final and win this year.  

Metcalf and her fellow Roses internationals, including new signing Imogen Allison, have only just returned from Nations Cup duty.  

Alongside mid-courter Allison, Thunder have brought in South Africa’s Elmerè van der Berg and rising star Paige Reed in the shooting circle, and Metcalf believes the new faces will boost the team’s bid for top spot. 

She said: “One of our greatest strengths is the strength of the squad. It’s not a seven, it’s a full squad of twelve, fourteen, fifteen, so that’s going to be our superpower this year.  

“There’s a real sense of shared strength in uniting, trying to achieve that same goal.” 

Metcalf, who plays as wing and goal attack, has also taken some of the younger players under her wing, including 17-year-old debutant Anya Williams. 


Williams was part of the Thunder pathway before representing England in the Commonwealth Youth Games last year and has now made the step up to be part of the 12-player squad. 

The skipper said: “At Thunder, our pathway is so strong and the groups that we’ve got for young girls and people to get into the game is incredible.  

“Anya is evidence of that, she’s come through the pathway, and now she gets a very well-deserved shot at Super League.

The 31-year-old also believes Thunder have an important part to play in expanding the sport’s reach, with the side welcoming over 4,000 fans to their AO Arena game last year. 

She said: “Manchester Thunder are really passionate about and committed to growing the game.  

“You can see that with the number of fans we have at games, the pathways, the venues we play at.  

“We’ve been fortunate enough to play at the AO Arena. It’s a real spectacle for the sport and I’m proud to be part of it.”

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